(The Center Square) — Data from the Alabama Department of Labor shows that the state’s unemployment rate increased slightly to 2.3% in October, while the state’s labor force participation rate remained constant at 57%.
October’s rate was four-tenths of a percent below October 2022, which was 2.6%. According to the DOL, there were 52,196 unemployed people, compared to 50,166 in September (2.2% rate) and 60,443 in October 2022.
The state agency also said that the number of employed increased by 38,038 to a record high of 2.26 million. The civilian labor force also increased to a new record high of 2.3 million, with 29,791 more people joining over the year.
“We are continuing to see positive growth in our prime-age worker labor force participation rate, with more than three out of every four prime-age Alabamians holding down a job,” said Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington in a release. “One of the main components of the labor force participation rate is the state’s total population, and Alabama has a larger portion of retired workers.
“We will continue to work to bring in other, more traditionally underutilized segments of the population to ensure that we are maximizing our workforce.”
The counties with the lowest unemployment rates are:
• Shelby County at 1.8%.
• Morgan, Limestone, Cullman and Chilton counties at 1.9%.
• St. Clair, Marshall, Madison, Elmore, Cleburne, Cherokee, Bullock and Blount counties at 2%.
All of the counties with the highest unemployment rates are located in the Black Belt in central Alabama, led by Wilcox County (7.8%), Dallas County (5.6%), and Clarke and Perry counties (4.6%).
The three cities tied at the state’s lowest unemployment rate at 1.6% are all in the Birmingham suburbs: Alabaster, Homewood and Vestavia Hills. Next was two other Birmingham suburbs – Hoover and Trussville – along with Madison, a suburb of Huntsville at 1.7%. Athens was third at 1.8%.
Selma had the state’s highest unemployment rate for major cities at 6.6%, followed by Prichard at 4.8% and Bessemer at 4%.